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No studies have been conducted on bitter orange and breastfeeding, so it is not known whether the supplement is safe for breastfeeding women. One of the active components of bitter orange, which is similar to ephedra, may pass through breast milk and cause problems in a nursing infant. Before taking bitter orange, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare providers about the potential risks.

An Overview of Bitter Orange and Breastfeeding

Bitter orange contains numerous active ingredients which may not be safe for breastfeeding women. Bitter orange has never been studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding and you are considering taking bitter orange, make sure to let your healthcare provider know.

Bitter Orange and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Bitter orange may be safe for breastfeeding women when consumed as a food (bitter orange is actually a citrus fruit). However, most people find bitter orange (as the name suggests) to be too bitter to eat. It is not known if bitter orange (when used as a supplement) is safe for use during breastfeeding. Also, bitter orange is usually used in a "blend" of many different herbal products, most of which have not been shown to be safe for breastfeeding women.
One of the active components of bitter orange is synephrine, a stimulant similar to ephedra. It is possible that this component may pass through breast milk and cause problems (such as poor sleeping, irritability, and appetite loss) in a breastfed infant.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Bitter Orange and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about bitter orange and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about bitter orange and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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